Wednesday, December 3, 2014

12.03.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

            3, Action at Block Houses Nos. 1 and 3 [see also December 2-5, 1864, Operations against stockades & block-houses on N&C Railroad above]

Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee.

            3, Reconnaissances from Cleveland and Tyner's Station

CLEVELAND, TENN., December 3, 1864.

Capt. H. A. FORD, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

I have sent reconnoitering parties on three of the most important approaches from the south and west, and taken all possible precaution toward the protection of this place. At Tyner's Station I have 200 men and two pieces of artillery; they have a good earth-work, and can without doubt hold it.


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. II, p. 40.

            3, General and Special Orders, No. 1, establishing the Civic Guard of Chattanooga

GEN. AND SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 1. HDQRS DISTRICT OF THE ETOWAH, Chattanooga, December 3, 1864.

I. The general commanding the district, considering it highly advisable to have this post and its several defenses as strongly held as possible, hereby orders that all civilians within the lines of the post be enrolled and organized into a military force.

II. With the view of having the force enrolled and effectually organized, the general orders and authorizes Col. Edwin S. McCook to take the business in hand at once, and orders him to the command of the force he shall so enroll and organize.

III. All civilians, therefore, within the lines of this post, who are not in the actual employment and pay of the United States Government at this post, will proceed instantly, on the publication of these orders, to the rear office of the post guard, there report to Col. McCook, register their names and residences, have themselves properly enrolled and assigned for military duty, and having been enrolled, hold themselves subject to his orders.

IV. The military duty indicated in these orders will not take the civilians enrolled and organized by Col. McCook beyond the exterior lines of defense.

V. Col. McCook has full power to organize the force contemplated in these orders as his experience and judgment best dictate, and he will appoint and order such officers and other assistants to act under him as he thinks best gaslight for command, or any other work or duties in connection with the force contemplated.

VI. The force commanded by Col. McCook will be known as the Civic Guard of Chattanooga.

VII. This order of enrollment and organization comprehends not only all the civilians who may be permanently resident at this post, but all civilians who may be temporarily detained here, whether on business or pleasure, or owing to obstructions on the road.

VIII. Col. McCook will have every facility afforded him for the proper arming and equipment of the Civic Guard, and will determine, subject to the approval of the general commanding, the signal for the assembling of his command on any sudden emergency.

IX. Every civilian enrolled in the Civic Guard of Chattanooga will be furnished by Col. McCook with a printed certificate of enrollment. The post provost guards on and after Tuesday, the 6th day of December, will demand, in addition to the usual City pass, the said certificate of enrollment.

X. Any civilian hereby ordered to register and enroll himself in the Civic guard failing to procure, or to produce on proper demand, the said certificate of enrollment, will be arrested on the spot and handed over to the provost-marshal.

XI. Should the party or parties so arrest fail satisfactorily to explain the circumstances of their not having, or their not producing, the said certificate of enrollment, said party or parties will immediately be sent by the post provost-marshal to work for thirty days on the streets or fortifications.

By order of Brig.-Gen. Meagher:

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. II, pp. 39-40.

            3, First Action at Bell's Mill -U. S. N, capture and recapture of U. S. S. Prairie State & Prima Donna, and dispersal Rebel artillery [see also November 17-December 28, 1864 Confederate Cavalry operations in Middle Tennessee above]

Excerpt from the Report of LCDR Le Roy Fitch's report made from the U. S. S. Moose off Nashville on December 4, 1864:

* * * *

....about 9 p. m. [December 3], I received intelligence that the enemy's left wing had struck the river and had batteries planted at Bell's Mills, about 4 miles below Nashville by land but 18 by river, and that they had captured two steamers. [I ordered the tin clads and gunboats: Neosho, Carondolet, Moose, Brilliant, Fairplay, Reindeer, and Silver Lake to the bend.]

* * * *

I directed Acting Master Miller [of the Carondolet] to run below the lower batteries, giving them grape and canister, then round to and come back and fight them upstream

* * * *

The boats moved down perfectly quiet, with no lights visible, and were not seen by the enemy until the Carondelet opened fire on their lower battery and encampment.

* * * *

As soon as the Carondelet opened fire the enemy poured a heavy volley of musketry into the boats along the entire line, and also opened on us with their upper battery of four guns. About this time the Fairplay had stopped to keep from running into the Carondelet, and the smoke from the guns and smokestacks, combined with our steam, settled around us so very thick in this bend that I could see nothing nor could the pilots see where we were running; so, finding myself nearly in contact with the Fairplay, I was also forced to stop, and after the Carondelet and Fairplay had passed below the bend I found myself still in the smoke and in a rather bad position, as the batteries were then firing directly into me and so far on my port quarter that we could not bring our guns to bear. I therefore directed the pilots to back up, as it was clear above and below it was intensely thick. I was afraid by this time the Carondelet and Fairplay had passed the lower battery, rounded to, and were again moving up, which would make our chances for colliding very great. I therefore decided to back up again, about the upper battery, as I could not remain where I was long enough for the smoke to lift; and, as the rebels were now giving this boat their entire attention, made it also dangerous to attempt to round to. In backing up above the batteries, I necessarily moved slowly, but the pilots....handled the vessel so magnificently that we were able to keep our guns working on them so rapidly that in a great measure they were kept silent.

When I got above the battery where I could use the port broadside and bow guns, they soon ceased firing, as the Reindeer had by this time got above their guns, rounded to, and was in a good position to assist this vessel in case she was disabled....I concluded to wait till daylight, knowing that the Carondelet and Fairplay, which were below the lower battery, would keep everything quiet and take care of the captured steamers.

The musketry along the bank and on the hillside was for a time very annoying, but we soon drove them off. The firing from their battery for a time was very rapid, but their guns were not well aimed; most of their shell and all their grape passed entirely over us; this, I presume, was owing to our being so close to them. The river at this point is not over 75 or 80 yards wide, and part of the time we were directly under their guns. Two percussion shells struck this boat in the hull a little above the water line, and one struck in the wheel, but none of them did much damage. One of them came quartering from the battery above us and lodged in the bread room, close to the magazine, but did not explode. Another struck us fair and would have passed on through the bottom, but was turned from it course by striking one of the deck beams; it also did not explode, but lodged in the rake. The Silver Lake was not quite close enough to engage the batteries, but kept the musketry silent along the bank above.

In the morning, very early, we again moved down, the Neosho having [by] this time joined us, but saw nothing of the enemy; the batteries were removed the night before we left them. Between 8 and 9 a. m. I met the Carondelet and Fairplay, with the transports just below where the lower battery stood during the night. Learning that all was clear below, I returned to Nashville with the gunboats and transports.

Not withstanding the darkness and haziness of the night, all of the boats were well maneuvered....

* * * *

The numbers of rounds fired were as follows: Carondelet, 26; Fairplay, 37; Moose, 59; Reindeer, 19; Silver Lake, 6.

I am not able to say what execution we did, as darkness covered all, but we drove them from their guns and back from the river, recapturing the steamers they had captured in the early part of the evening before they had time to destroy them, made them abandon most of the forage they were taking from the vessels, and cause them to let may of their prisoners escape.

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 26, pp. 640-643.

            3, Confederate guerrillas destroy railroad track between Buck Lodge and South Tunnel

BUCK LODGE, TENN., December 4, 1864.

Lieut. H. D. BROWN, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Gallatin, Tenn.:

SIR: I have the honor to report to you yesterday at 4 p. m. it was reported to me by a citizen that about twenty guerrillas had crossed the railroad between Buck Lodge and South Tunnel, and that perhaps the railroad was damaged. I sent immediately a patrol toward South Tunnel, and found that at a point one mile south of Buck Lodge, and half a mile north of the brigade picket, four rails had been removed from the track and the telegraph cut. I ordered my men to repair the track, and the same time stopped the passenger train which was just coming down. The telegraph was repaired by the engineer. You will allow me to say that the act was done in full sight of the bridge picket, and that it could not have been done if the workmen on the railroad had made application for a guard instead of working without. I was with my company at skirmish drill at the same time, not more than half a mile from that place, and heard the hammering, but as I knew the workmen were there I had no suspicion.

I remain, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ADAM BUCK, Capt. Company A, Cmdg. Post.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. II, p. 50.

            3, Confederates fire upon U. S. S. Kentucky near Harpeth Shoals

CLARKSVILLE, December 3, 1864.

Brig. Gen. WILLIAM D. WHIPPLE, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.:

The steamer Kentucky, with three companies of Nineteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry and 170 infantry, has returned, not being able to pass a battery near Harpeth Shoals. A courier has just arrived with dispatches from Col. Thompson, from Johnsonville, that his force will reach here to-morrow afternoon. A courier says that he could not reach Gen. Cooper, at Centerville.

A. A. SMITH, Col., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. II, p. 41.

            3, James A. McCord's letter to his brother describing the battle at Franklin

Franklin Tenn

Decr. 3rd 1864

Dear Brother

After a long and very hard march, we arrived at this place, the 30th day of Novr. about 4 oclk [sic] when we went immediately into a fight and every one says that it was the hardest fought battle that has been fought during the war. There is no telling what our loss is. We lost ten Genls killed & wounded. Genls Cleburne Granburry, Gist, Adams, Strahl, & one more I forgotten were killed and four that were wounded. Granbury's celebrated brigade left this place yesterday morning with 137 Guns all told. Hall & Jno Tom Gillispie[1] was both killed dead on the field, and nearly every one of the company fared the same fate. The larger portion of Genl Bates Div acted very cowardly in the first of the fight. Tyler's & Finley's and Jackson's left would not charge the works.

I was skirmishing in front of Tyler & Finley and they run three times and left me on the hill begging them to come back when one of old Abes [sic] boys plugged me in the right foot, making it a severe wound, tho [sic] not a serious one I hope. I am well cared for. I do not know any place where I could fare as I do here. The people are the kindest in the world especially the Ladies. The world does not know their superior and I doubt that their equal can be found.

Lt McKibbin[2] wounded in left fore arm [sic]. Troy Saunders[3] slightly in arm (gone back to Co.) Mo Mays[4] & Ben Deason[5] were wounded but not dangerous I believe. I do not know how your company suffered (but little I believe). No Country knows a braver man than Genl Bates. I am proud to say that there was no one between me and the Yankees when I was wounded. You will have to excuse this short letter as my foot pains me a great deal & I do not know when I will get a chance to send off though I believe I will put it in the P.O. Give my love to all.

Truly yours

Jas A McCord[6]

P.S. This fight lasted eleven hours.

James A. McCord Correspondence.[7]

            3, The fate of numerous Confederate battle flags taken at Franklin and disposition of prisoners of war


Maj. J. A. CAMPBELL, Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Army of the Ohio:

MAJ.: I have reports of twenty battle-flags and standards captured from the rebels by my division during the fight of the 30th, and am confident, after investigation, that the number is accurately stated. I have only eleven, however, to send to headquarters. These are now in Gen. Reilly's possession, and will be forwarded this morning. The men have a passion for tearing them into bits to send home as relies, and in spite of orders have thus destroyed nine. I cannot give any satisfactory approximation as to the prisoners taken; all that I saw came in on the left of the Columbia pike, where my division was posted; but I am unwilling to make any claim to definite numbers, nor do I think it important that I should do so. I ordered all prisoners turned over to the provost-guards of either corps indiscriminately, and those officers can best report how many they have.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. D. COX, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 45, pt. I, p. 410.

            3, Military Governor Johnson Recommends Clemency for Convicted Guerrilla James R. Mallory

Nashville Dec 3 1864.

Abraham Lincoln

James R. Mallory who was convicted of violation of the Laws & usages of civilized warfare of murder & two robberies sentenced to be hung on the on the second instant has been respited by Genl Thomas for a short time so that his friends can have an opportunity as they say to present circumstances which will mitigate his sentence. Two young ladies, on assuming to be his sister & the other his cousin asked & obtained a simple letter of introduction to the President & will be presented by them in a few says-This man Mallory & his associates are here one of whom is also sentenced to death, as been a terror to the whole surrounding Country and has been guilty of the most outrageous and atrocious murders known to civilization[.] If there is any two men, Mallory & Ray who deserved death since this rebellion commenced, these two deserve  more than death-I told the two young ladies who will apply for the pardon that I would not even recommend a commutation of his punishment to imprisonment for life in a penitentiary & that the punishment of death for the crimes he had committed on the defenceless & unoffending Union men of the country-Duty & conscience required me to say as much to the President in this case.[8]

Andrew Johnson Mil Gov

PAJ, Vol. 7, pp. 326-327.

            3-8, Naval reconnaissance Cumberland River, Nashville-Carthage[9]

Letter from Major-General Thomas, U. S. Army, to Lieutenant Commander Fitch, U. S. Navy, requesting a patrol of the river to Carthage, Tenn.: [December 3, 1864]

CAPTAIN: The major-general commanding directs me to say that inasmuch as the enemy has made no attack to-day, and great uncertainty attends his movements, he thinks it unsafe to trust the courier line between Gallatin and Carthage to bring us information of any attempt which might be made by the rebels to cross the river above here, and is of the opinion that, to render us secure, you had better patrol the river as far as Carthage with at least one ironclad and two gunboats, if you think there is sufficient water in the cannel to enable you to do it.

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 26, p. 640.


Correspondence from Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Glassford, U. S. Navy, to Major-General Thomas, U. S. Army, regarding reconnaissance of U. S. steamers Brilliant and Springfield to Carthage, Tenn.

U. S. S. Silver Lake, December 8, 1864.

General: The gunboats Brilliant and Springfield have just returned from up river. There is no force on the river between this point and Carthage. Breckinridge is reported at Sparta with about 3,000 men, though with reliability we can not say.

Navy OR, Ser. I, Vol. 26, p. 659.

[1] Cpl. William Hall Gillespie, Co B, 7th Texas Infantry was mortally wounded and died at Franklin, Tennessee. He is buried in McGavock Confederate Cemetery, Texas Section 3, Grave 39. His brother, Pvt John Thomas Gillespie Jr. was in the same company and was also killed at Franklin. He is buried in Texas Section 2, Grave 26.

[2] Lt. Martin Van Buren McKibben enlisted as 5th Sgt, Co I, 30th Georgia Infantry on September 25, 1861. He was appointed 1st Sgt May 13, 1862. Promoted to Jr. 2nd Lt on July 16, 1863 and 2nd Lt in 1864. He was severely wounded at Franklin on November 30, 1864. He was listed in Saint Mary's Hospital at West Point, Mississippi on January 13, 1865.

[3] Pvt. Troy S. Saunders enlisted in Co I, 30th Georgia Infantry on June 30, 1863. He was wounded at the Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia on September 19, 1863. He was listed in Direction Hospital at Griffin, Georgia on December 22, 1863. No further record.

[4] Pvt. Robert W. Mays enlisted in Co I, 30th Georgia Infantry on September 25, 1861. Roll for December 31, 1862, last on file, shows him 'present'. Pension records show he was wounded in the right breast at the Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia on September 19, 1863. Born 1842, he died in Butts County, Georgia on December 8, 1918.

[5] Pvt. Benjamin T. Deason enlisted in Co I, 30th Georgia Infantry on September 25, 1861. He was wounded at the Battle of Franklin and captured in one of the Confederate hospitals there on December 17, 1864. He was released from Camp Chase, Ohio Prison on June 13, 1865

[6] Pvt. James A. McCord enlisted on November 1, 1862. In January 1864, he was on detail duty as a clerk at the General Hospital in Lauderdale Springs, Mississippi due to a disability. He was wounded at the Battle of Franklin and captured in one of the Confederate hospitals there on December 17, 1864. He was released from Camp Chase, Ohio Prison in June, 1865.

[7] As cited in.

[8] According to the editors of the Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 7, p. 327, footnotes 5 and 6 .

5. "The forgoing bitter denunciation Mallory and Ray is in striking contrast to the governor's complacent endorsement of Mallory's recent letter of November 14, appealing for a delay in execution. Addressed to Gen. George H. Thomas and dated November 28 it recommended postponement until Friday December 23, 'which will give him & his friends ample time & a fair chance, to do all that can be done.' Are we to conclude that Johnson, confident that a military review would reaffirm the court's finding, now, only five days later, feared that the President would succumb to the entreaties of the young women and this prevent the punishment of these guerrillas?

6.But in February, the governor, always susceptible to feminine appeals, had relented in response from one of Mallory's sisters-'an interesting and seems to be a clever woman'-and proposes, as 'a very great expansion of leniency,' commutation of punishment from 'death to imprisonment during life.'" Johnson to Lincoln, February 5, 1865, General Court-Martial Records, MM-1375, RG153, NA.

[9] Not referenced in Dyer's Battle Index for Tennessee or the OR.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX


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